Initiative launched to help umpires, groundsmen
MUMBAI: In post-IPL era, cricketers, both current and former, are well off on the financial front. However, quite a few of the umpires, groundsmen and players and others who were associated with the game in yesteryears, are struggling to make ends meet, or meet their normally-heavy medical expenses.
The 'Cricketers' Foundation' has been formed with the purpose to help out such lesser-known characters, who contribute to making cricket a spectacle, but are left largely ignored. The idea of the foundation is to raise a corpus to help Mumbai's old players, coaches, umpires and maidan maalis (groundsmen) who may have fallen on hard times now. Many of them don't receive any help from the BCCI or the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) as they haven't played for India/Mumbai and don't qualify to receive any pension.
It will also help all those in the cricketing fraternity who need financial support, in order to pursue their career. The foundation's chairman of the Board of Trustees is veteran journalist Makarand Waingankar, and the secretary is Abhijit Sanzgiri. Its members are veteran radio commentator Fredun de Vitre, former Mumbai player Salil Datar, Amit Gadkari, Dr Shailesh Shrikhande.
"Mumbai is known as Mecca of Indian Cricket because of its huge contribution to Indian Cricket but one can't overlook the contributions of club Cricketers who played for decades, committed coaches who spent hours honing the skills of teenagers when there was no money, maidan maalis who worked hard to prepare good pitches in awful conditions and umpires who did their job dispassionately. Cricketers' Foundation will ensure these old servants of Mumbai Cricket lead a comfortable life," said Waingankar. "We appeal to cricket lovers of Mumbai to come forward and contribute."